So what do you call a situation involving one Christian pitted against a Jew who is really an agnostic, an apostate Catholic, a lesbian atheist, a mildly conservative agnostic, and a secular lefty host? Yep, you got it: a typical “fair” ABC debate. This happens so often that we really need to get the acronym right: Always Biased Crap.
The ABC monotonously and routinely seems to stack the deck each time it has a “debate”. It is so afraid of real debate that it will ensure that there is a predetermined outcome. The Monday night Q&A television program is a typical – and appalling – example of this.
I happen to know a bit about this. I would have done hundreds of such debates over the past twenty years, many of them with the ABC, either on radio or television. You can always count on the moderator to not be moderate in the least, but to side with my opponents. So automatically it is already 2 against one. But I have taken part in plenty of “debates” where it was three against one, four against one, five against one, and so on.
So insecure and so biased is the MSM in general and the ABC in particular, that this is the only way a conservative religious voice will get on. And it is only a token appearance anyway; that way they can claim that they are being “balanced” and “even-handed”. Yeah right.
Getting back to this Monday night’s program, it was a usual leftist gabfest, with the audience predominantly in the secular left camp as well. So one poor Christian had to take on not just five others, but effectively hundreds of others. The host Tony Jones must feel so nice and safe in such rigged circumstances.
Various hot potato issues were discussed: euthanasia, religion and politics, and so on. But since the show, and the network, is really all about pushing agendas, a major topic was same-sex marriage. The entire debate was pretty lousy. Of course proper debate on complex social issues simply cannot be conducted in such formats.
All you can get are brief sound bites, and often the person who shouts the loudest wins. Consider our apostate Catholic: she was absolutely ridiculous as she pretended to be some sort of Catholic when she denied basic Catholic social and ethical teaching here.
There she was going nutso about how Jesus was into love and therefore we of course have to embrace same-sex marriage. Hey apostate, adulterers and fornicators talk about love too – so was Jesus wrong to condemn these types of sexuality as well?
For someone who claims to be a good Catholic and says she in fact studied theology, she does not seem to have a clue – or more likely, is “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness” as Paul writes in Romans 1. But I have written about her and her rebellion elsewhere: billmuehlenberg.com/2010/07/04/christian-leaders-missing-in-action-again/
Speaking of Romans 1, unfortunately the one Christian voice let the cause down here. There were a number of small mistakes along the way – not sure why. Getting the 66 books of the Bible wrong was odd (he said 64). When offering a New Testament text on homosexuality, he said Romans 13 instead of Romans 1; another fairly substantial blunder. Romans 13 of course is the key text on God and government, while Romans 1 is one of the most important texts on homosexuality.
But we might put these mistakes down to pressure or the heat of the moment. We all can make minor errors in hot debates. But there was a much more important blunder which really was most unfortunate. In typical fashion Q&A offered set-up jobs instead of genuine questioners.
They had a known TV personality and homosexual activist ask a question (that is, push a predetermined agenda with the complete complicity and backing of Tony and the show) via video clip. It was a very lengthy comment and series of questions about homosexuality.
Of course in a show like this where the conservatives or Christians do well to get 30 seconds to reply (and are routinely interrupted along the way), the secular lefties are allowed by Tony to drone on and on. Thus it is basically impossible to properly address so many complex and nuanced issues. Indeed, I just wrote a 270-page book to try to unpack all these sorts of issues.
A major part of this homosexual’s remarks was that he was born this way, always felt this way, and could not possibly change. Most unfortunately the Christian started by saying he agreed with him! This was disastrous. A major strategy of the homosexual lobby is to convince us that homosexuality is genetic, immutable, and unalterable.
Sadly they have managed to convince many – even Christians – that this is the case. The truth of course is quite the opposite. Homosexuality is not at all the same as being left-handed or red-haired. Numerous homosexual activists themselves have even rejected these fallacious claims.
Indeed, I wrote a very detailed chapter about all this in my new book. In almost 20 pages utilising 76 footnotes I offer a careful rebuttal to the claim that homosexuals are born that way and cannot change. Any Christian speaking or writing on this topic should know all this. And they should know that above all Jesus is in the business of radically transforming lives.
If we don’t believe this then we don’t believe the gospel. So it was a great disappointment that the only Christian on the show could not strongly offer the biblical and scientific position on this. But as I already noted, shows like this are lousy formats for engaging in actual considered debate.
All up he did quite well on the other topics, and we are always grateful when believers are willing to put up with all the public hate, flak and opposition as they appear on these shows. We certainly need more such brave believers to front up for these debates.
Perhaps I am getting old or something, but I don’t get asked quite as often as I used to to be part of these debates. However my media presence is still fairly constant and demanding, including being asked just hours ago to write an article for the most widely read newspaper in the country (which I just completed).
As I say, I have done plenty of these debates over the years. Thankfully today one can ask for instant help – prayer and otherwise – by means of emails, FB, and so on. So many of my debates in the past took place without the help of the new social media, so it was often a very lonely and very tough situation indeed.
But on another note, without doubt the very best line of the night came from Gerard Henderson: “If you’re talking about bizarre views, have a look at the Green movement. Once upon a time, when people said, ‘The end of the world is nigh,’ they were figures of fun. They were all Christians walking around in odd clothing. Now, people who walk around in odd clothing and say ‘The end of the world is nigh,’ vote Green and often work at the ABC.”
What a ripper, Gerard! The only other major highlight of the night was a guest in the audience. The ABC obviously messed up big time to allow him in. He was an older man confined to a wheelchair. He spoke about euthanasia. The Q&A producers must have been rubbing their hands with glee: “Great, we can get him to make a powerful and emotive case for euthanasia” – another pet agenda item of the secular left.
But when he spoke – and he spoke several times – he made an impassioned and powerful case against euthanasia! When one panelist went on about when she gets old and incapacitated and wants to be able to pull the plug, this guy said, ‘Hey, I once said exactly the same thing! But now that I am in this position I have most definitely changed my mind!’ The activist ABC execs must have been pulling their hair out by this point!
One other matter: why is it that every single time anyone who is not remotely a raving lefty is described as a “conservative” or better yet “ultra-conservative”? Why are those on the left never given such prejudicial adjectives? Why aren’t they introduced as “leftist commentators” or “lefty politicians” or whatever? It is all part of how the ABC demonises people and pushes its biased agendas.
Oh, and did I mention that the only reason the ABC exists is because you and I are forced to subsidize it with our tax dollars? Surely it is time for it to stand (or, more likely, fall) on its own two feet.